Quare Los Angeles, 1980-2000
"Into the Darkness: A Quare (Re)Membering of Los Angeles in a Time of Crises" was Kai’s dissertation where he examined the ways in which Black queer folk articulated, created, constructed, and reconstructed Black queer space and place in Los Angeles from 1981 to the present. In 1981, the crises that Black people experienced in Los Angeles because of rising incarceration rates, unemployment, drug addiction and gang violence, were further compounded by the arrival of the HIV/AIDS virus. While there was much silence and stagnation nationally and locally in Black and white communities in response to HIV/AIDS in particular, there were Black queer folk in South Los Angeles who employed technologies of survival to provide knowledge, support, community, and life saving opportunities for themselves and their communities. The dissertation focused on geographies of the self (or personal narratives) and how those personal narratives teach us about Black queer struggles for belonging and place in Los Angeles, particularly South Los Angeles. The blog will highlight interviews, tales, conflicts, and lessons from Kai’s 5 years of fieldwork in South LA - all this in addition to his investment in community-engaged scholarship and alternative sources of knowledge production. This blog is an accessible tool and space for those interested in black queer life, histories and magic.